Make it official

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Well, this afternoon, I got what I've been waiting for: my first contest/open submission notification.

An official rejection.

It came as an email from the editors at one of my favorite presses, and their boilerplate "no" was quite kind.

Here's something odd: my initial gut reaction to this first rejection was to exclaim, "Good!" Not in a snarky or cynical way. I actually felt a little gust of pleasure at reading their phrasing: "We’re sorry to report that we have decided against publishing it." I guess you could say I savored a good amount of relief at finally hearing back from a publisher after waiting months. Here's to more!

I'm toying with the idea of using my computer to videotape myself reading rejections (or, with luck, an acceptance). I'm curious to see how my face reacts to these bits of news. Is that weird? Certainly it's disturbingly narcissistic.... Instead of spending all this money on reading fees and postage, should I have put the money toward some therapy?

On the flipside, check out this post by Christopher Hennessey regarding the recent news that his first book, Love in Idleness, will be published by Brooklyn Arts Press. (h/t lorcaloca) Here's an excerpt, but be sure you click over to read the rest. It's worth it:
Dear Love in Idleness,
Today is the day. Today I tell the world how much I love you, how happy I am for us. I don’t know if the other poets and books will think this letter to you crass, but right now I’m not thinking straight. I hope my exuberance can be forgiven, but it’s not every day a boy sees his first book of poetry accepted for publication. It’s been a long haul, with lots of rejections and lots of encouragement, but we made it, you and I! We found a home for you, someone who wants to take you out into the world to share with others, to repeat the sheaf of you numerous times, to sit you on shelves where I can stare at you longingly, hoping others are considering just what you mean. You and I have a lot to think about as this process moves forward, not the least of which will be what I am going to do without you to fret over. And while I adore you now, I know soon I will begin to think about the poems that will come next. Forgive me. Even now, the thought excites me. But enough, you’re not even in the world…yet.